Docklands hopeful for the play-offs despite thumping defeat by champions Wessex
Docklands Volleyball Club were well beaten down in Bournemouth
Wessex 3 Docklands 0
Docklands had hoped this trip to Bournemouth would have been a title decider, but Wessex showed why they had eased ahead of their London rivals to take the National Division One title with an impressive victory on Saturday.
Two recent away Docklands defeats meant the title was already decided before this final league match of the campaign and Wessex were in celebratory mood in front of a bumper crowd.
Unfortunately, with the result of the match now irrelevant and with a number of absences due to injury and work commitments, Docklands could only travel with six players.
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It meant they were always going to struggle to compete against a strong Wessex side, boasting two Olympians and experienced ex-Docklands setter Alex Chevau. The gulf between the two teams was highlighted from the start as Wessex took a 7-0 lead in set one, before running away with it by 25-14.
Wessex turned the screw in the second set and without a libero, Docklands struggled to supply setter Marc Schäpertöns with a consistent pass.
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Docklands were limited to single figures for the first time in the 25-point set era, as Wessex strolled to the set 25-9.
Docklands showed a bit more fight in set three as Wessex experimented with his line-up. Pawel Stankiewicz gained some success and blocks by Slawek Omlyski and Tom Wenzel kept the score in check at the start of the set.
But the home side remained in control and despite Docklands saving three match points, Wessex took the third set 25-18, sparking wild celebrations.
That was Wessex’s first victory over Docklands for over 13 years and Docklands remain the only side to beat Wessex this season.
The south coast side have already made it to the Super8s and now it’s Docklands turn to try and make the step up.
The focus now shifts to the play-off match against Solent in May. Docklands have four weeks to prepare for the one-off match on May 11 and know that they will need a much better performance to gain promotion back to the Super8s.